Are you an introvert? Are you shy? Are you nervous talking and meeting professionals? Many Financial Math students have answered yes to these questions.
Networking and making connections can be scary. What do I say? What if they do not like me or want to talk to me? Networking and making meaningful connections is essential to increase your chances of landing an interview for a job opportunity. Here are some tips:
Plan a time limit. By setting a time limit, the event will not seem like an unending activity. Being around people can deplete your energy and that can make networking events uncomfortable. Plan to rest before and after networking events so you have energy while you are attending the event.
Set a goal. Give yourself a goal on how many people you want to have meaningful conversations with. This provides purpose and helps you to focus on talking to the right people rather than talking to everyone.
Understand your fear. When you understand what part of networking brings you anxiety, you can isolate the specifics and find resources to help reduce the fears. If needed, you can ask for help and alleviate stress from the next tip...
Bring a friend. You may feel more comfortable attending networking events if there is someone who can support you. They may also share the same anxieties and together you can work to overcome those fears. Just remember to not only talk to your friend.
Focus on the other person. Divert attention from yourself by asking questions to put focus on their career stories, experiences and advice. This will help to reduce your stress, and provide you the information you are seeking.
Finally, smile. 🙂 People who attend networking events are there to help others or gain advice and help for themselves. They want to meet you!